I noticed that Mr. Clift refered to dioxin as a likely human carcinogen in
MEC's press release.
2,3,7,8-TCDD, often refered to as "Dioxin" (there are something like 78
possible molecular configurations in the chemical class known as
dioxins; TCDD is the most toxic congener) is a known human
carcinogen according to the IARC (http://188.8.131.52/monoeval/grlist.html.
It was listed in 1997, I believe.
Press Release National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences January 19,
2001 "TCDD-Dioxin--is Listed as "Known Human Carcinogen" in Federal Government's
Ninth Report on Carcinogens"
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2002 8:59
Subject: E-M:/ New Report - MDEQ Soft on
REPORT CHARGES STATE DEQ SOFT ON
The state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is putting the
health of citizens at risk rather than enforcing environmental laws, a
coalition of environmental groups is charging. The groups are releasing
a report, “Soft on Crime,” that cites 11 cases in which DEQ failed to enforce
state environmental laws, exposing citizens to everything from dioxin-tainted
playgrounds to mercury-tainted fish to sewage-fouled rivers.
“These horror stories are just the tip of the iceberg,” said James Clift,
Policy Director of the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC). “There are
dozens, if not hundreds more. People are facing serious health risks because
the DEQ can’t -- or won’t -- enforce the law. There is an expectation
that the DEQ is taking responsibility for protecting the public from
contamination and its not getting done.”
One of the most frightening examples of DEQ’s failure to enforce the
law is a nearly five-year coverup of dioxin contamination in Midland and a
failure to act on information collected last year on dioxin contamination
spilling downstream from the city to Saginaw. DEQ has discovered levels of
dioxin, a likely human carcinogen, 80 times higher than health-based
standards. But instead of publicizing the discovery and demanding cleanup, the
DEQ met privately with representatives of Dow Chemical Company to develop a
plan for public relations and rejected requests from concerned groups to do
A poll taken last summer showed that from
78% to 90% of Michigan registered voters support reforms to strengthen
enforcement of environmental laws similar to those contained in House Bill
4996, introduced by State Rep. Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor). The bill would
prevent polluters from benefiting economically from breaking environmental
laws, bar chronic violators from receiving some state contracts, and make
information on the state’s environmental enforcement efforts public.
MEC is calling on the Engler Administration to spare from
budget cuts staff position charged with enforcing environmental laws.
“This administration has to demonstrate its commitment to protecting the Great
Lakes through providing the personnel necessary to hold polluters
accountable,” stated Clift. This fiscal year, general fund support for
the DEQ has already been cut by 24%.
The pollution violations occurred in Lyon Township, Riverview, Midland,
Monroe County, Kalamazoo County, Green Oak Township, Van Buren County,
Mackinac County, Clinton Township, along the Saginaw Bay, and White Lake
Township. A copy of the “Soft on Crime” report is available at the MEC
web site: http://www.mecprotects.org.
For more information:
Contact: Dave Dempsey, 517-487-9539
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste. 2A